Rohingya refugee crisis: PM to raise Rohingya issue at UN
12:00 AM, September 15, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:22 AM, September 15, 2017

PM to raise Rohingya issue at UNGA

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In an effort to find a long-term solution to the Rohingya crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will make a formal proposal at the upcoming 72nd UN General Assembly session for an early implementation of recommendations by the Kofi Annan-led Commission.

Hasina, who will address the general debate on September 21, will highlight the root causes behind the Rohingya crisis and place specific proposals for early solution to the longstanding humanitarian crisis, said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali while addressing a press conference on the PM's visit to UNGA from September 17-21 yesterday.

She will urge the world leaders to play an effective role in stopping the genocide of Rohingyas.

In her speech, the PM will also call on the global community to recognise the genocide in Bangladesh during 1971 Liberation War, the minister added.

At the briefing in State Guesthouse Padma, Mahmood termed this year's UNGA “very significant”, saying that “the UNGA is being held at a time when several lakh of civilian Rohingyas are fleeing death in Myanmar and entering Bangladesh.”

About the statement of the UN Security Council, which met at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, the foreign minister said Dhaka welcomed the statement that expressed concern and condemned excessive violence during Myanmar's security forces' operations in the Rakhine State which led to over 400,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.

"The statement is strong and very much timely,” he said. “We welcome the timely- statement of the UN Security Council whole-heartedly.”

The 72nd Regular Session of the UNGA already began on September 12 at the UN headquarters. The general debate will open on September 19 with the theme, "Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet".

Mahmood added that over 400,000 Myanmarese nationals sought a sanctuary within 40km inside Bangladesh territory in the face of atrocities by Myanmar security forces.

Besides the new arrivals of Rohingyas, another 400,000 Rohingyas have been staying illegally in makeshift camps in Bangladesh for decades. 

“Bangladesh is now facing an unprecedented crisis to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of Rohingya refugees and send them back to their country,” the foreign minister said, adding that, “This time the situation is more dreadful than any other time in the past.”

Against this backdrop, Hasina in her speech will attach importance to implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led Commission for a long-term solution to the crisis, said Mahmood.

The PM, who will depart for New York tomorrow, will participate in a number of important events, including the high-level meeting on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse on September 18.

At the meeting, she will highlight Bangladesh's zero tolerance policy towards any sort of sexual violence and repression or harassment. Also on the same day, she will attend the follow-up meeting of Global Deal for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth.

Next day, Hasina will take part in a roundtable of the UN Secretary General's high-level panel on “Women's Economic Empowerment, Leaving No One Behind.”

At the UN session, Bangladesh will sign the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” adopted by the UNGA. It will be opened for signing on September 20, and Foreign Minister Mahmood will sign it on behalf of Bangladesh.

The PM will also hold bilateral meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the UN session.

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